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FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCE) and its subsidiary Versa Power Systems Inc. (VPS) will team to improve the reliability of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems by achieving an SOFC stack power degradation rate of less than 1.5 percent per 1000 hours in a 100 kilowatt (kW) (125 kW Peak) Modular Power Block (MPB) stand-alone power system under thermally self-sustained normal operating conditions. The potential for a high-volume SOFC stack production cost below the DOE target of $225 per kW will also be validated. The scope of work will focus on SOFC stack reliability and endurance, especially in actual system operation. The project team will use a multi-pronged approach including materials development, manufacturing process quality, robust and reliable stack design, novelty in-system design and incorporation of lessons learned from prior fuel cell systems operation. The project will address one of the key obstacles to commercialization of the SOFC, the high degradation of the fuel cell in presence of excessive moisture in air leading to production of chromium species in the cathode. Extensive research will be performed to discover mitigation technologies including chromium-tolerant cell materials and novel interconnect coatings. This work builds on previous DOE contract DE-FE0011691.

Cut-away diagram of a 100 kW SOFC based Modular Power Block (MPB)
Principal Investigator
Hossein Ghezel-Ayagh
Project Benefits

Centralized SOFC-based integrated gasification fuel cell (IGFC) power systems equipped with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) represent a transformational improvement over competing technologies and have a significant efficiency advantage over state-of-the-art integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and pulverized coal systems. In this work FCE will validate performance and cost targets that will advance the reliability, robustness, and endurance of low-cost SOFC technology suitable for ultimate deployment in 100 megawatt or larger IGFC systems capable of 97 percent or greater carbon-dioxide capture. Development of this technology will significantly advance the nation’s energy security and independence interests while simultaneously addressing environmental concerns, including greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.

Project ID
FuelCell Energy Inc.